Latest news from the Himalaya and Karakoram

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Preparations in Kathmandu for Makalu Expedition

Photo: Kathmandu

Our team has now arrived to Kathmandu, I got in on 20th along with Mick (Parker) and then Paul (Hudson) arrived yesterday. The last few days we have been busy buying gear to help fix the route on the mountain (rope, ice screws, pitons and snow stakes etc) as well as food for the hill and a few extra luxury food items for Base Camp.

We plan to fly to Tumlingtar on 28th and then start the ten day trek into Makalu Base Camp from there. Mick knows the route well as he attempted Makalu back in 2004 whereas for Paul and me it is the first time. I am looking forward to the trek, it should be enjoyable as travels through beautiful country where there are very few trekkers and commercialisation as seen in other trekking areas like Annapurna and Everest.

There are a number of other teams coming to Makalu this year on the normal route (North West ridge via Makalu La), so far we have heard of a large team from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Darjeeling, a Korean team, and two Spanish climbers one being Jose Mª López.

Hopefully during the course of our expedition I will send back dispatches to this Blog with our progress on the mountain, however it is unlikely you will see any new updates until we reach Base Camp in a couple of weeks time.

There are lots of climbers in Kathmandu at the moment and it is good to catch up with friends from previous expeditions, the usual suspects are in Sam’s Pub most nights! In fact I am meeting some friends there shortly so better go…

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Makalu Expedition Spring '09

Photo: Makalu seen from Mera Peak

In a few weeks I fly to Nepal to join a private expedition to climb Mt Makalu. At 8,462m Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world. I have admired this beautifully shaped peak while leading expeditions to Mera Peak over the last few years. It is perfect pyramid with four ridges making this mountain look spectacular from any direction.

I will be climbing with Mick Parker who I know well from previous expeditions to Kanchenjunga (2003) and Broad Peak (2005). Our objective is the North West ridge via the Makalu La, it looks an interesting route with technical climbing at altitude. We plan to climb without Sherpa support or supplemental oxygen.

We fly to Tumlingtar on March 28th for the 10 day trek in to Base Camp, I am looking forward to the walk as I have never been to this region before. The trail passes through the large Sherpa village of Tashigaon and then over the Shipton La towards Base Camp.

For more information on the mountain take a look at Wikipedia Makalu page. If you are interested in the full list of all Spring expedtitions in Nepal take a look at the

I plan to send messages back during the course of the expedition via my satellite phone and these will be posted to this Blog.

Roland Hunter

The Mountain Company